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London Falling Audiobook

London Falling: The Shadow Police, Book One

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Publisher's Summary

The dark is rising....

Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect, Rob Toshack, is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal.

Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law - until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.

As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment, and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game - and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

Paul Cornell has written some of Doctor Who's best-loved episodes for the BBC. He has also written on a number of comic book series for Marvel and DC, including X-Men and Batman and Robin. He has been Hugo Award nominated for his work in TV, comics, and prose, and won the BSFA award for his short fiction. London Falling is his first urban fantasy novel.

©2013 Paul Cornell (P)2014 Audible Studios

What the Critics Say

"He's gone and written a novel too! I suspect it will be just as good as everything else he's written, and that's not fair at all." (George R R Martin)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (374 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tango Texas 05-03-15
    Tango Texas 05-03-15

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Team Quill"

    I was a little hesitant to pick up one more urban noir fantasy set in London having already read Peter Grant, Alex Verus, Felix Castor, and Courts of Feyre - all UNF series set in or around London. However, London is 2000 years old and packed with history so I finally decided the city could probably support one more. Good decision, me! After listening to London Falling, I decided that London actually could support several more UNF series if there are more writers like Paul Cornell.

    The Publisher's Summary is quite sufficient to give you a flavor of this tale and get you started, however, I will note an explanation of one thing that confused me at the outset in case it might help someone else. The story begins with two detectives, Costain and Sefton, undercover attempting to bust a mob boss, Rob Toshack. DI James Quill (Costain's and Sefton's boss) has a brief meeting with Costain in a men's room to give him instructions. The very beginning of the book was a bit confusing to me because I didn't quite understand who were the bad guys, who were the police, and how they were interacting. Part of this is because Damian Lynch uses a very authentic accent for the seedier types of London, which nicely sets the tone of the book, but makes for a challenge for American ears. You have to get the rhythm of that accent before you can really understand what is being said and who is saying it. I would encourage you to stay with it, because once you get clear (it only takes about 15 minutes), this gritty, history-soaked tale really takes off.

    There are several things in this series that make it unique and bear special mention:

    1. I like urban noir fantasy, especially when the dark stories are offset a bit with humor and good characters. London Falling has both - no LOL, but lots of wry, ironic moments and believable, fleshed out characters.

    2. Unlike most UNF, there is no one central wizard, mage, or necromancer. If fact, in the beginning, there are no magic-wielders on the protagonist side at all. Each of the four central protagonists has a backstory that draws him/her into the mystery and each has certain talents that are enhanced and informed by one moment that the four share while trying to solve the case. From that point, although Quill is "in charge", the four members of the team are equal and essential to the resolution of the mystery. So, this is a "team" series rather than another "lone wolf" escapade.

    3. London Falling is very dark and truly gritty. Unlike several authors I have read recently, Cornell seems to understand that gritty and vulgar are not synonyms. There isn't much coarse language or lewdness in London Falling, but there is a deep creepiness that makes London Falling read more like some horror mysteries than like other UNF novels.

    I have continued this series with the next book, The Severed Streets, and there were lots more surprises and another story utilizing the loooooong, crazy history of London. And, once you adjust your ears to Damian Lynch, I think you'll enjoy this narrator, too.

    46 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Hall Olympia, WA United States 03-15-15
    Michael Hall Olympia, WA United States 03-15-15 Member Since 2013

    mtbikermike

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    "One of the best books I've heard!"
    What did you love best about London Falling?

    The character development of our four "heroes" was just wonderful. I felt like I really understood what made them tick, even in the bizarre supernatural world that they discovered. In the middle of incredible and incomprehensible events, I cared and cheered for these people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Somehow this impossible world became plausible. I think it's very, very difficult for an author to maintain any credibility while writing about the supernatural - but this book does it. The plot held water in a way that built suspense and was immensely satisfying at the end.


    What about Damian Lynch’s performance did you like?

    He has a sort of halting style that was a little distracting at first, but quickly it became just right for the story because it gave me a bit of time to think between phrases. This can be a tough story to follow but the narrator helped make it work. Plus, of course, his accent is brilliant!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Its British-ness was wonderful to hear! I am one of the countless American anglo-philes out there; this book was written for Brits alone so I had to work to understand some of the language that was used. A labor of love!


    Any additional comments?

    Can't WAIT to listen to the sequel.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LHF 02-06-17
    LHF 02-06-17 Member Since 2011

    LHF

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    "Took a while to get going but was worth the wait."

    Very reminiscent of the River books written by Ben Aaronovich and it would be interesting if the two authors collaborated on one together. The narration was good but it was sometimes difficult to catch who was speaking as the variation between characters was not very pronounced. Still a great listen and I'll be downloading the next book in the series shortly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey W. McClure Salado, Texas United States 11-02-15
    Jeffrey W. McClure Salado, Texas United States 11-02-15 Member Since 2012

    Gamaeliel

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    "Riveting and well narrated"

    A great example of the hidden London genre with an excellent juxtaposition of solid police mythology with the supernatural world. The narration is immersive with Damian Lynch presenting a whole cast of voices, all with authentic but very understandable local accents.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avid Books and TV AUSTIN, TX, United States 10-04-15
    Avid Books and TV AUSTIN, TX, United States 10-04-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Nothing Special"

    So I guess there are couple of these series out now, with London Police dealing with the supernatural. Among this group London Falling had little to separate it from the crowd. None of the characters are especially likeable, and I found several just plain annoying and/or condescending. Nothing about the plot was particularly clever and, as far as magic systems and the supernatural goes, this was pretty poorly developed. There's some potential for this to improve in future books in the series, but I'm not sure I want to spend another credit on any more books in this series to find out.

    I was also not a fan of Damian Lynch's narration. His voice was fine, and while the range between characters wasn't great, it was adequate. However, he continually has these long pauses between phrases and sentences. It's incredibly annoying to the point where I wanted to shout at him, "Get on with it!" It would go something like this: brief phrase, pause... end of phrase. Long pause... (like he's finding his spot in the text), Next sentence. Another pause, and so on. This book would probably be several hours shorter if that stuff was edited out. There were also several other parts where the narrator repeats himself because he lost his place so editing overall was pretty shoddy.

    As for this London supernatural police sub-genre, I much preferred Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Everett, WA, United States 02-06-15
    Eric Everett, WA, United States 02-06-15
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    "English horror mystery"

    This is a very good book to listen to however I will say due to the english accent you might find yourself listening to it more than once. It has a Stephen King feel to it so it does hurry to develop the story. But once your into this book I believe you will really love this story.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andreas 01-05-15
    Andreas 01-05-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Coopers meets the occult; interesting clash"

    Couldn't stop listening. As a fan of the Dresden Files and Iron Druid and the like this was different in a good way, being more serious and a tad darker.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 04-29-14 Member Since 2009
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    "a darker British cop version of the dresden files"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    i have wanted to read this since it was released in the uk. Now i have and love it's dark yet funny tone .


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    the cat i don't really have a reason


    Any additional comments?

    where is the second book

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Corcoran Chicago, IL USA 08-28-17
    Matthew Corcoran Chicago, IL USA 08-28-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Hardboiled Supernatural Detective Story"

    This book is wonderfully gritty, creepy and thrilling. An interesting angle on the occult with some real worrying and disturbing stuff with accents of dark humor. Definitely recommended!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Morrow 06-29-17
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    "Really awesome"

    Oh, wow! I cannot say enough good things about originality. I have never experienced the awesomeness of these really diverse bunch of characters and what each one contributed to the story. I love stories about London and wish I had the sight. The author is brilliant and so was the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Beccameriel
    London, United Kingdom
    7/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Starts slow and a bit confusing but stick with it!"

    I wasn't sure at first. The first chapter dumps you straight in the middle of an undercover police operation which is about to get chaotic and there is no exposition to help you understand what is going on. But then the magical stuff starts to happen and it turns out the protagonists have no idea what is going on either. I read a review that said if Rivers of London is The Bill, then London Falling is The Sweeney; darker and more violent. Like Ben Aaronovitch's London, it's authentically multi-cultural and all kinds of magic grows from the city's lengthy history and complex mythology. I LIVE for this stuff :)

    There's one amazing reveal that is brilliantly handled. Really did not see it coming and it's perfect - I genuinely gasped out loud when I realized.

    It's the start of a series and whilst the main storyline is resolved there is lots of setup for the next book(s). From initially thinking it wasn't for me (NB Wolves of London which I really couldn't get on with) I ended up binge listening and getting the sequel straight away to binge listen to that too.

    Damian Lynch does a great job; well pace, all the characters clearly differentiated and believable.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Ieva
    Babite, Latvia
    6/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much of everything.."

    I can only agree to some of other reviews - the story line sounds too familiar and it is quite hard to get in to the story at first. If you are a fan of Ben Aaronovitch and expect something like Rivers of London there might be a disappointment. For my taste there is too much of everything - witch sanctifying children according the football scores, talking cats and time travel, even a hint of free masonry... If with Aaronovitch`s books one actually starts to believe the story and it positively drags you in, then with this story you just do not believe. I had to force to listen until the end, just out of curiosity how it shall end.
    The performance though is very impressive.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Mansfield, United Kingdom
    5/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A cracking book"

    If you liked Rivers of London, London Revenant or the Jack Nightingale books you will like this one, its a new slant on the urban supernatural thriller with elements of a police Procedural and who done it, with realistic flawed characters.
    Damian Lynch gives a really good performance.

    I will certainly be looking forward to the next book in this series "the Severed Streets"

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Inerness, United Kingdom
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good listen."

    Was a good listen and I liked the story,. I have listened to Rivers of London and a couple that came after and this seemed very similar - perhaps its a Genre thing. It is a good and well written story and is enjoyable, but it was so close to Rivers of London themes for me I couldn't quite get into it as much as I would have liked.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Phil
    West Sussex, United Kingdom
    12/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reasonablish plot, awful writing style"

    The plot's ok, if a bit daft in places. That kept me going until the end of the book. The main problem is the one dimensional characters and the terrible clunky writing style. This is made worse by the narrator who leaves long pause between sentances. I won't be reading any more of the series.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Kitty
    7/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I can't wait for book 2"
    Any additional comments?

    I found this quite difficult to get into at first but I'm glad I stuck with it. The tension is on from the first chapter and I listened to the whole thing over a weekend. The book is both a satisfying crime thiller and a thouroughly enjoyable fantasy adventure.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • P. C. Smith
    South Gloucestershire,UK
    3/17/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SPELLBINDING"

    I absolutely loved this book. A bit gruesome in parts but riveting story, beautifully read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    GATESHEAD, United Kingdom
    12/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LOVED IT💜"

    Wasn't sure at first, but then suddenly it just clicks. Love the way it sets up for the series to follow, am looking forward to it

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Knitting nut
    NUNEATON, United Kingdom
    5/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone with a better brain who can unravel and remember better than I can


    Would you ever listen to anything by Paul Cornell again?

    Maybe


    What about Damian Lynch’s performance did you like?

    Performance was ok considering what he had to work with


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed


    Any additional comments?

    I found the plot slow to start with and then became totally confused to such an extent that the thought of listening to ten more hours just horrified me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • joe
    UK
    5/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "London Failing"

    Took a punt on this as it was in the BOGOF sale. I found the whole thing a little silly really. The idea of catching and "nicking" an alternate reality ghost/witch using good old fashioned police work...WHAT?

    The narration is also lousy, of the 4 main characters there is only one discernible voice (Quinn) the other 3 just merge into one. This makes some parts quite hard to follow, especially the first 30minutes!! and the voicing of the "demons" is totally ridiculous.

    I gave up on this half way through. Maybe with a better narrator i would have stuck with it, but as it is, I don't think this book was even worth half a credit... poor

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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